Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Review of Diary of an Accidental Wallflower by Jennifer McQuiston

Title/Author: Diary of an Accidental Wallflower (Seduction Diaries #1) by Jennifer McQuiston
Publisher/Date published: Avon, February 24th 2015
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Pretty and popular, Miss Clare Westmore knows exactly what (or rather, who) she wants: the next Duke of Harrington. But when she twists her ankle on the eve of the Season’s most touted event, Clare is left standing in the wallflower line watching her best friend dance away with her duke.

Dr. Daniel Merial is tempted to deliver more than a diagnosis to London's most unlikely wallflower, but he doesn’t have time for distractions, even one so delectable. Besides, she's clearly got her sights on more promising prey. So why can’t he stop thinking about her?

All Clare wants to do is return to the dance floor. But as her former friends try to knock her permanently out of place, she realizes with horror she is falling for her doctor instead of her duke. When her ankle finally heals and she faces her old life again, will she throw herself back into the game?

Or will her time in the wallflower line have given her a glimpse of who she was really meant to be?

This was a bit of a different twist on the usual historical romance, which features a duke or a viscount or a marquess and a highborn lady who fall in love. In Diary of an Accidental Wallflower, we see love blossom between a highborn lady and a doctor (gasp)!

I liked Clare, though I really wanted to shake her for pretending to be lacking intelligence. I mean, she's obviously pretty smart, but she's pretending not to be because she thinks it won't be as accepted by the rest of the ton and OMG in real life this also annoys me! Playing dumb is never an attractive feature in my opinion. But she does use her smarts in the end and I liked it. She's fiercely protective of her brother and sister and though she might be a bit overbearing in her protectiveness, I loved that she cared so much about them.

I had some issues with Daniel. While I really liked that he calls Clare out on her bullshit, the way he's attracted to a patient and decides to act on it while he's still treating her is a big HELL NO. I mean, I'm a doctor myself and that is just not done. I think you can even loose your license to practice medicine when you do something like this. So that bothered me. But I do like how he's determined to find a way to use anesthesia on patients and how he's conducting experiments on himself (which didn't seem the wisest decision to be honest, but I do appreciate his not wanting to kill a test subject by accident). Other than that, I liked how he also cared about Clare's siblings and gave them some advice and just a good example.

Clare and Daniel definitely had the banter down and I always appreciate that! They had some chemistry, but not as much as I would have liked and the conflict at the end made me roll my eyes for a bit. I mean, come on, that just felt like filler for the last couple of pages, while it could hav easily ended neatly right there. But they were good together and I kinda loved how though there was the real problem of their difference in station and how they would have an income sufficient to provide for them both, it all worked out in the end. It might be a little too convenient how the stars all aligned to make this happen, but I like a happily ever after, so I was ok with it.

There was a lot of build-up towards the taking off of the romance and I was a bit bored for the first half of the book, but after it started getting better and I could start rooting for their relationship to work out, so in the end it was a pretty ok novel, not as good as I though Summer is For Lovers was, which was AMAZING, but still a decent read.

My rating: 3 stars

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: All Time Favourites From the Past 3 Years

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by my other blog The Broke and the Bookish

These are the books that I would count among my all time favourite list from 2012 till now. I'll admit that I cheated a bit by listing series, but I cannot list one of the books without talking about the others!

1. Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight and Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas: it is really no secret that I have all the love for this series. It is amazing and I love Celaena and Dorian and Chaol and ROWAN and just this whole world that Sarah J. Maas has created and OMG I cannot wait to see what will happen next! These books always leave me with the worst hangover and it is GLORIOUS.

2. Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo: another fantasy series I have completely fallen in love with and which is already finished and just writing this post makes me want to go grab the books and dive back into the Grisha world!

3. A Night Like This and The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn: I discovered how much I love Julia Quinn's writing over the last 3 years and these books are just *LOVE*. She's amazing and I just swoon and laugh at the stories and it's perfection.

4. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: wow, this book! I had not expected to love it as much as I did, but it punched me right in the feels and it was just AMAZING.

5. A Storm of Swords and A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin: I have so much love for this series! I'd read the previous books in the series before 2012, but I'm definitely counting these for the list!

6. For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund: I had feels all over this book! It was SO good and OMG THE LETTER! I DIED!

7. The Crown of Embers and The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson: I'd read The Girl of Fire and Thorns in 2011. This series has such a hold on my heart! I love Elisa and Hector and all the other characters in this book, they've all wormed their way into my heart and I still cannot process that this series is finished and I won't be going on anymore adventures with them! It was amazing to see Elisa grow and come into her own!

8. Golden by Jessi Kirby: such an unexpected love! Golden blew me away and I really cannot for the life of me think of a good reason why I don't own a shiny copy of this book myself! I will forever fangirl over the beauty of the writing in Golden.

9. Splintered, Unhinged and Ensnared by A.G. Howard: I have so much love for this re-imagining of Wonderland and all its inhabitants! I loved seeing Alyssa grow into a true queen of Wonderland and while I may not be exactly satisfied with the way my ship went, I do get it and I still love this series as a whole.

10. The Bone Season and The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon: this series! It's just amazing and intricate and ok, The Bone Season was a bit heavy on the information we had to process, but it totally worked for me and I will just read the crap out of the rest of the books in this series that are still being written!

So that's my list, any we have in common? Anything you'd recommend based on my list? Let me know!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Mini-Reviews (5) Boomerang, For All Time, The Vanishing Season

So ever since June of 2014 I've been failing at writing reviews for the books I read. I know. And because it's been AGES since I read these, I'm just gonna do mini-reviews of them, so as to clear my need-review shelf.

Title/Author: Boomerang (Boomerang #1) by Noelle August
Publisher/Date published: William Morrow, July 8th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

I enjoyed Boomerang, I'll admit that I wasn't as big a fan as some other people whose reviews I've seen floating about the blogosphere, but it was really fun! I liked both Mia and Ethan and could root for them to get together, and I liked that there was some real conflict, I mean, a job on the line is something that will effectively stop you from being together if the company doesn't allow coworkers to date. Which is a really annoying rule in my opinion.

The reason that Boomerang doesn't get more than 3,5 stars is that I felt that it started to drag towards the end, I thought that they were making it unnecessarily hard to be together and it was kinda annoying. Also, I could have done with a little less of them thinking about how hot the other person was. Ok, they're both hot, I get it, moving on. Please just start thinking about all the other stuff you like about each other.

But I did really like that Boomerang dealt with real people, real friendships and real jobs.

My rating: 3,5 stars

Title/Author: For All Time (Nantucket Brides Trilogy #2) by Jude Deveraux
Publisher/Date published: Ballantine Books, July 1st 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

I really liked True Love, the first book in this series and was itching to get back to Nantucket and see others find their happily ever after. I need some good fluff in my life every now and then. But Toby and Graydon just didn't work for me the same way that Alix and Jared did. I never really FELT their chemistry enough to believe in it and sorry, but being together just because you can tell Graydon apart from his identical twin and that means you're "meant for each other" *insert eyeroll* is just not enough for me.

I do enjoy a good prince story and there was something real keeping them apart, but it just felt so old-fashioned! I mean, I get this in my historical romance novels and also in fantasy series and such, but in a contemporary romance? I was constantly wanting to yell at them to start living in the 21st century. Though I do realise that this might be the way things still work for royal families, it was still annoying.

So while this was an ok read, I was waiting for that wow factor that never came.

My rating: 2 stars

Title/Author: The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Publisher/Date published: HarperTeen, July 1st 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

I'd never read anything by Jodi Lynn Anderson before, but I've heard amazing things about Tiger Lily and was excited to start The Vanishing Season. I did like The Vanishing Season, and I can see the potential of Jodi Lynn Anderson's writing, she really has a way with words. The plot for The Vanishing Season just wasn't as exciting as I had liked it to be.

I wasn't really invested in Maggie, Liam and Pauline and could see from MILES away where this was going, there was this sense of doom over the whole story for me. I don't really want to tell you about what happened, cause it will ruin the surprise and shock effect and that in itself was perfection. The ending of The Vanishing Season was basically what saved this novel and I am glad I stuck with it for that.

My rating: 3 stars

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Daisy Update (58)

Hi guys!

So over the past couple of weeks, I've basically been pretty busy, working the night shift of doom last weekend, which wasn't all that bad in the end, but working 13 hours a day is not my idea of fun.

On Monday I headed over to my mom's, because she and the new man in her life (though maybe not as new anymore as they've been together for 1,5 years already) were having a registered partnership ceremony on Tuesday and it was REALLY early and I didn't feel like getting up at 5AM in order to be on time because it's a 2 hour drive from our home to theirs. So we had dinner together and after the boyfriend also came over and it was nice.
On Tuesday my brother and his girlfriend and some other family came and we spent the day together. The original plan had been to go for a walk, but because of icky weather, we decided to go to a gardening centre instead and the boyfriend and I bought a pretty flower vase set thingy and I've just been staring at it ever since, it's so pretty :) And I needed some more colour in our home, so the pink and purple is really making me happy. We went out to dinner that night and it was lovely, I always love spending time with my mom and my brother, my brother and I have the same sense of humour and usually end up annoying our significant others because they can't follow all of it.

Wednesday was filled with sitting on the couch, reading Grave Mercy and cuddling the kitty, who felt neglected cause we'd been gone a full day. She's never before been alone for that long, but it seemed like she managed ok, nothing was damaged, but she clearly felt we'd offended her by being gone a night and a whole day. I did make up for it by giving her a little extra attention Wednesday and Thursday, so we're good.

On Thursday the boyfriend had the brilliant idea to go out for dinner instead of eating leftovers and we went to the other restaurant in our town that we hadn't yet been to and it was wonderful! The owner is really friendly and the food was yummy. It has the added benefit of being only a 5 minute walk from our house, so the rain didn't much bother us.

Friday was book club day! :D I met up with Debby and Mel for dinner and we talked about everything and anything and also a bit about Grave Mercy, which we all enjoyed, yay! I had Korean food for the first time ever and it was good, but not really all that special to me. But Debby has had it before and said it might be the restaurant. I love spending time with these girls!

Yesterday I thought the neighbours were coming over to our place for dinner and they thought we were coming over to theirs, so in the end we decided to have dinner at their house and we brought the desert:

It's a pavlova with strawberries romanoff and raspberries and it was SO GOOD! I'd never made this before, but OMG, it was surprisingly easy and YUM! I love trying out new recipes :) We have some leftovers in the fridge, which will probably miraculously disappear sometime today.
Oh, and I decided to take up knitting again! I've been watching a lot of tv lately and I feel so inactive if the only thing I'm doing is just sitting there watching something, so I'm knitting. It's pretty relaxing, I'm just getting back into it at the moment, making a blanket for our kitty and then I'm gonna move on to bigger projects such as leg warmers and other things :)

I hope you're all having a great week!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Review of When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill

Publisher/Date published:
How I got this book:
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Dating can be fun, but it can leave a nasty taste in your mouth. For Joss, ever since her longtime boyfriend cheated on her, she doesn’t want her last memory of a guy to be that jerk. Enter her college friend, Matt. They come up with a theory: after a bad break-up, a person needs to cleanse the palate with a little sorbet sex. Lovers for a night, but always back to being friends in the morning. The two can handle it because they have a contract: rules they wrote, rules they follow and rules they can sometimes bend. The arrangement works: everyone needs a little sorbet now and again... until it starts to be the only thing you want. And then Joss breaks the one rule they never wrote down: don’t fall in love.

So I was ready to LOVE When Joss Met Matt, cause my friend Debby keeps raving about it. But I'm sad to say that I was not nearly as enthusiastic about it as she was (please don't kill me Debby)...

I love a good fluffly contemporary, and New Adult explores a period in someone's life that we don't really get to see much of: college. I LOVE stories set in college, cause it's all about discovering who you are on your own, without the constant presence of your parents and parties and dorms and just YES. But I felt that When Joss Met Matt wasn't so much a fluffy contemporary as it was a sequence of random hook-ups.

It might be due to the fact that I never really cared much for Joss. I did like Matt, but Joss was just a bit too crass and I didn't really get her reasoning behind a lot of things and there was just basically nothing I liked about her except that she liked animals. Or says she likes animals. Cause she was just not a good cat mom. I mean, seriously, she's constantly annoyed by her cat and shoving him out of the way and DUH, cats respond negatively to that. I might be a little oversensitive about this cause I have a cute kitty myself, but it really bothered me that she was constantly talking about *having* to pet her cat cause he wouldn't stop *bothering* her until she did and I was like, yeah, you just got home, of course the kitty wants some attention.

I did like Matt, he seemed like a decent human being and just such a guy, I could understand Joss falling for him in the end. But he was being a bit of a douche at the end, I know he was hurt, but still. I guess that I just didn't like that they kept going back for each other for SEVEN years to have sorbet sex, with the best reason for them not being together being that Joss thinks Matt is too nice? I mean, what? I'm not saying that just not having those kinds of feelings for someone isn't a legitimate reason to be together, but she obviously thinks he's attractive enough to have sex with him and he's one of her best friends. I could have gotten behind this if they'd just been friends without the physical contact, but this just felt off.

The back and forth between the present and their whole history of hook-ups also didn't really work for me, it just felt like one long line of bad relationships interspaced with sex with each other. I never got the fuzzies about them together, I didn't FEEL that they were falling for each other, or at least not from Joss' side of things, which was the POV. I also didn't like that aside from this, we never really got to see much of their lives. I mean, how are they doing in college and hanging out with friends aside from as props for their relationships. There was nothing about either of them just being a person and I would have liked that.

I'm very disappointed to say that I just wasn't into When Joss Met Matt, even though I wanted to love it REALLY badly, I just did not like this and didn't get my fluffy on as I wanted to.

My rating: 1,5 stars

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Review of Remember by Eileen Cook

Title/Author: Remember by Eileen Cook
Publisher/Date published: Simon Pulse, February 24th 2015
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Harper is used to her family being hounded by protesters. Her father runs the company that trademarked the "Memtex" procedure to wipe away sad memories, and plenty of people think it shouldn't be legal. Then a new demonstrator crosses her path, Neil, who’s as persistent as he is hot. Not that Harper’s noticing, since she already has a boyfriend.

When Harper suffers a loss, she’s shocked her father won’t allow her to get the treatment, so she finds a way to get it without his approval. Soon afterward, she’s plagued with strange symptoms, including hallucinations of a woman who is somehow both a stranger, yet incredibly familiar. Harper begins to wonder if she is delusional, or if these are somehow memories.

Together with Neil, who insists he has his own reasons for needing answers about the real dangers of Memtex, Harper begins her search for the truth. What she finds could uproot all she’s ever believed about her life...

I was really excited to start Remember, because the brain and memory are fascinating to me. I however did not really appreciate the execution of Remember.

The concept of softening your memories so you retain them but they don't hurt you anymore. It's both scary and something I can imagine in the treatment of PTSS patients. So I was a bit disappointed that while it's a factor in the story, there's not really an explanation for how they found this and how it all works and everything that I was wondering about. So that was a bit of a let down.

I didn't much care for Harper, she was an ok main character, but I was just not connecting with her. I never really got a good feel of her personality and she was both taking action and being a damsel in distress and I just wasn't really feeling it. And I get that she needed a reason to get the treatment, but I didn't like that she would rather not feel anything about the horse who'd her best friend for years than work through the grief. I appreciated that she was this devastated by the loss of an animal who'd been close to her since she'd been a child, but it felt a bit like a lack of character to go ahead with the procedure.

I also wasn't feeling the romance, I mean, I didn't get why they liked each other and there's some telling instead of showing me they developed a relationship, they'd apparantly met for coffee multiple times off-page. I mean, I get that they could be attracted to each other, but there was an I love you straight out of nowhere and I was like WTF??? I didn't get why they would risk all of what they did for each other.

I did like the whole intrigue with Harper's parents, that was interesting, but all of it feels a bit unresolved. I mean, Harper finds out what's been going on, but they don't really do anything about it except for that and her dad just seems awful and UGH! I felt that in the end the only thing that was resolved was Harper getting together with the new guy and everything else was still blah.

All in, I thought this was an interesting concept, but the execution failed to impress me.

My rating: 1,5 stars

Monday, February 23, 2015

Mini-Reviews (4): Just Like the Movies, The Queen of the Tearling, Through to You

Title/Author: Just Like the Movies by Kelly Fiore
Publisher/Date published: Walker Books for Young Readers, July 22nd 2014
How I got this book: bought it

I really enjoyed Just Like the Movies! It was nice to see the developing friendship between Marijke and Lily, with some bumps in the road. I did very much like how they worked together and the shenanigans they get up to were fun and overall this was just a really cute read. Obviously some of their ideas were a bit misguided, but I can lovingly roll my eyes at that, and it's all in the name of love, right?
This was pretty much a perfect read for Dewey's 24 hour read-a-thon, it was light and fluffy and just really cute!

My rating: 4 stars

Title/Author: The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1) by Erika Johansen
Publisher/Date published: Harper, July 8th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

The Queen of the Tearling is a book that has been getting mixed reviews, but I really liked it, though I can understand it not being for everybody. I really liked that Kelsea was raised far away from everything and actually has a reason to have all these skills that allow her to take care of herself, as opposed to the MC living a pampered life and still somehow being able to survive in the wild. I liked her and her determination to be a good queen.
I was a bit unsure of the exact setting at first, it feels medieval, but they also have J.K. Rowling's books on the shelves, so I'm guessing some distant future in which we've gone a bit back technology-wise? I don't know, but I liked it.

There's lots of intrigue and I still have a LOT of questions about how everything works with the magic system and who the Fetch is and how he's going to play his part in everything, cause he is one intriguing character! There's the possibility of a romance, but it's not there yet in the Queen of the Tearling and while I do enjoy a good romance, I actually liked that, because it could have easily been out of place.
I'm really excited to be reading the sequel soonish, cause I can't wait to find out what happens next with Kelsea and everyone!

My rating: 4,5 stars

Title/Author: Through to You by Lauren Barnholdt
Publisher/Date published: Simon Pulse, July 8th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

I usually really like Lauren Barnholdt's novels, but this one just didn't work for me. I really did not like Penn, the boy I was supposed to swoon over, who is basically just arrogant and annoying and rude and also very insensitive. I was actually rooting for Harper to go and find some other boy to fall in love with, because the way Penn was treating her was just wrong and every girl deserves better than that. If he's so in to her, he should get his act together and actually show that he cares about her. And I get that he doesn't want to get his hopes up about seeing another doctor about his baseball injury, but SERIOUSLY dude, stop being an ungrateful ass, ok?
So Penn didn't work for me, but neither did Harper. I did think that she deserved better, but she wasn't a very interesting character either and to just forgive him every time he put on his jerkface just does not make me like her.

I'm sad to say that I really didn't like Through to You very much and would recommend Sometimes It Happens or Fake me a Match instead.

My rating: 1,5 stars